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Budget deficit jumps, but Finance Ministry calm

The state budget deficit jumped by more than two billion Sk ($57.97 million) over one month, but a Finance Ministry official said the ministry was playing it cool and expected to meet all fiscal policy targets set for 1998.
The state budget recorded a deficit of 2.406 billion Sk at the end of May, up from a 264 million shortfall at the end of April, the ministry announced on June 1. However, the ministry added, the state budget development was in line with full year plans and there was no need to revise its main targets despite a considerable shortfall acceleration in May.
"The fiscal deficit at the end of May represents an appropriate portion of the full year target," said Juraj Macejka, director of the ministry's state account department. "There were no negative swings in terms of revenues or expenditures and the budget is developing in line with plans."

The state budget deficit jumped by more than two billion Sk ($57.97 million) over one month, but a Finance Ministry official said the ministry was playing it cool and expected to meet all fiscal policy targets set for 1998.

The state budget recorded a deficit of 2.406 billion Sk at the end of May, up from a 264 million shortfall at the end of April, the ministry announced on June 1. However, the ministry added, the state budget development was in line with full year plans and there was no need to revise its main targets despite a considerable shortfall acceleration in May.

"The fiscal deficit at the end of May represents an appropriate portion of the full year target," said Juraj Macejka, director of the ministry's state account department. "There were no negative swings in terms of revenues or expenditures and the budget is developing in line with plans."

The ministry changed the way it reports the budget balance at the beginning of the year to exclude payments of the state debt principal, saying the new methodology was more in line with International Monetary Fund standards. Due to the change in methodology, the ministry was not immediately able to give comparatives for the first five months of 1997.

The full-year fiscal deficit target for 1998 was set at 5.0 billion Sk, on overall revenues of 179.8 billion and overall expenditures of 184.8 billion.

"There is no need to revise this year's targets for revenues, expenditures or the fiscal deficit," Macejka added. "We consider targets set in the state budget as achievable."


Recent Fiscal Deficit Developments

Month
May '98April '98March '98
Revenues73.20260.84143.939
Expenditures75.60861.10542.836
Balance-2.406-0.2641.103

In billions of Sk Source: Ministry of Finance

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